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'Raising Kanan' Season 2 Will See Raq 'Unsettled,' Says Star Patina Miller

The highly anticipated premiere of the Power spinoff on Starz finds Raq 'putting out fires' while Kanan questions his existence.

Patina Miller as Raq and Mekai Curtis as Kanan standing in elevator
Patina Miller and Mekai Curtis return as Raq and Kanan in Power Book III: Raising Kanan on Starz.

"You're the heir to this throne, Kanan, and it's waiting for you if you want it." The Power universe is back in full swing on Aug. 14 with the season 2 premiere of Power Book III: Raising Kanan on Starz. As Kanan (Mekai Curtis) falls deeper into the family business, there's conflict brewing in and around him. 

At the end of season 1, Kanan's mother, Raquel -- aka Raq -- stood proudly on a rooftop overlooking New York City and her burgeoning drug empire. But this time around, there are cracks in the foundation. "Raq's world is very stressful. Not only is she expanding her empire, but all of these new people are being introduced and she's putting out fires left and right," Patina Miller, lead actor in the series, said in an interview with CNET.

According to the network, when Raising Kanan debuted in July 2021 it set records for Starz as its most engaged series premiere, with the highest series premiere completion rate across cable and streaming. Co-produced by showrunner Sascha Penn, creator Courtney Kemp and 50 Cent, the series is the second spinoff in the Power universe. Its popularity led to an early season 3 renewal ahead of season 2's release, Starz said on Wednesday.

This season, Kanan has lots of questions when he returns to Queens after shooting Detective Howard. While Raq contends with a shaky relationship with her teenage son, things also get tense with Unique, the New Jersey Mafia, her brothers Lou-Lou and Marvin and Jukebox's long-lost mom. 

Curtis and Miller shared what fans can expect in season 2 of the show. Both actors describe this installment of Raising Kanan as an "emotional roller coaster" and "explosive."  Life gets very messy for the Thomas family. 

Beware: Season 1 spoilers below.

Raq's ambitions have her at odds with everyone

As viewers recall, Raq sent Kanan to shoot Detective Howard (Omar Epps), but he didn't know Howard was his biological father. Meanwhile, Raq framed Unique for the shooting. Her choice to keep Kanan's paternity a secret fractures their mother-son relationship, and to make matters trickier, the detective survived the shooting. To top it off, Unique will eventually piece things together. 

"She's navigating her family life. She has to figure out what to do with Unique once he gets out, and then all the while positioning Kanan to be within the business and figuring out what that relationship is going to be," Miller says of her character. "Raq is in a very unsettled place -- a very complicated place -- but she's sweating even if nobody sees it."

As she attempts to expand her drug enterprise into new territory, Raq clashes with the mob as well as Lou-Lou's desire to quit the family business for music. Miller added that viewers will get to see how she tries to hold on to her power as secrets come out and things get more dangerous for her. She was stressed out for Raq this season. However, "There's a reason she's in charge," she declares.

With that said, don't expect too much progress in the romance department. Though Symphony and Raq seem to be getting close, Miller reiterated that business is priority number one. Raq doesn't believe in happily ever after for the pair.

Mekai Curtis's Kanan, Patina Miller's Raq, Toby Sandeman's Symphony talk outside a building

Raq likes Symphony, but business comes first.


Kanan learns the truth about his father

Initially, Kanan was under the impression that Def Con -- who was arrested and convicted thanks to Detective Howard -- was his biological father. Season 2 will see him uncover the truth and dig into all the lies his mother told him. How will he react?

"That'll shake Kanan's entire existence up until that point, because the legacy that he was chasing -- that Raq set up for him -- to him in some ways is so grand that it seems kind of unattainable," says Curtis. He explained how Kanan realizes he never needed to pursue that legacy and now his whole identity at 15-16 years old is "up in smoke." Already conflicted over whether he wants to remain part of the criminal underworld, Kanan will have to navigate new decisions and consequences at his young age.

Jukebox's mom enters the picture

Jukebox was left grieving the death of her girlfriend who accidentally overdosed on bad drugs, but the battering from her father, Marvin, left her stunned. She's close to her cousin Kanan and Aunt Raq, but those relationships may also be tested once her mom Kenya (LeToya Luckett) comes back on the scene. Curtis notes that Jukebox is usually the one who holds the family together like glue, but season 2 will have her trying to figure things out. That affects her dynamic with Raq too.

"This is a mother who decided to leave her child at a very young age," says Miller. "For Raq, who is all about family, it's not a good thing that her mom is back in the picture. But Raq is trying to be there for Jukebox and help her navigate that as a mother. I say it's a little difficult for Raq." Fans will also watch Marvin struggle to make amends with Jukebox while dealing with Kenya's return. It won't be easy for any of them.

As for whose fate fans should be worried about in season 2? According to Miller and Curtis: Everybody. It's Power, baby.   

Kanan's family sits around the dinner table as they toast glasses together in the center